Wharfers brandishing bags filled with MAC Cosmetics have Camille Waxer to thank. They represent the success of her five-year mission to bring the brand to the estate.
But that’s only one of the many achievements in the 25-year career of Canary Wharf Group’s chief administrative officer.
After she was head-hunted while living in Canada for the role of retail tenant coordinator, she’s held the positions of retail general manager and vice president of retail.
The 58-year-old has presided over the opening of nearly 300 stores and has seen shopping sales on the estate rise to £356million. But
Her passion shows no signs of abating.
Light-heartedly, she’s vowed to cement Canary Wharf’s position as a retail destination before she dies – a project she says remains “in transit”.
“I love it as much here now as if I just walked on the estate in 1990 – it’s a fabulous place to work,” she said.
“Back then, I was told there would be 100,000 people working here. Now we want 200,000 and it’s getting better all the time.
“I thought the first 25 years were good – the next are going to be equally great.”
The mum-of-one said her rise to the upper echelons of Canary Wharf Group was down to a combination of drive, determination and graft.
But she admitted her gender had seen the occasional raised eyebrow from construction workers along the way.
“Coming here was very exciting – it was definitely different,” she said.
“I had been working in a similar organisation but the men on the team we were working with here to open the retail shops weren’t quite ready for a woman on a building site.
“These were the plumbers, the electricians and the people putting up the walls.
“I’d sit in meetings with them going through what work had begun that week.
“We managed to get through it and some of those people are now my best friends.”
“I’m one of a small group of women who are executives of the company but it has always been about hard work and knowing your subject rather than gender.
"In the early days I’d put in a few more hours than most of the men. Someone would ask a group to do a project and I’d work 24/7 to get it done and give twice as much as was needed.”
Her current role, while including all things retail, also involves the wider running of the estate and an umbrella responsibility for arts, events and music.
She cites Canary Wharf Group’s recent rebranding as a significant accomplishment.
But she said the smaller aspects, such as seeing people choosing to meet for drinks on the estate, or receiving thank you letters from tenants relating to security, also meant a lot.
Canary Wharf’s next chapter will see retail combine with residential and office space as well as the arrival of Crossrail – creating a new transport hub and leisure destination on the estate.
So, what’s her next ambition?
“I would really like to see the first apartments let and completed and people moving in,” she said.
“I’d like to see how the former area of Wood Wharf will exist with Canary Wharf and merge into one – that’s my goal.”